The Keith Lee Dance Fund

A new scholarship initiative honoring Mr. Lee’s 50+ year career and our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

The Keith Lee Dance Fund (KLDF) is an initiative by Charlottesville Ballet to provide scholarships and financial aid to students of Charlottesville Ballet Academy (CBA). The KLDF (formerly KLSF) was established in 2023 in honor of Keith Lee, CB Resident Choreographer & Director of Diversity & Inclusion, in collaboration with Charlottesville Ballet’s IDEA Committee.

Our objectives are to enhance the diversity of CBA by reflecting the various ethnic identities in our community and to establish a pathway for dancers to join the Trainee Program and Professional Company. Dancers of any age or level can apply, previous dance experience is not required.

We’ve created a new “Common Application” to ensure that there are no obstacles for individuals seeking reduced tuition with assistance in the following categories:

Financial Aid
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Charlottesville Ballet is dedicated to providing dance training to students and families from all backgrounds. Financial assistance is available for all families that qualify, with distribution determined by the amount of financial resources available for the current season.
*Note: If you’ve already filled out this form for a sibling’s application, you do need to fill the form again; Financial Aid is granted to the whole family and valid for one year.

Diversity in Dance
Specifically for dancers from underrepresented demographic backgrounds. Our goals are to better reflect our community’s diverse makeup of ethnic identities and to create a pipeline for dancers into our Trainee Program and Professional Company.

Boys Scholarship
For individuals who identify as male. We strongly believe in the importance of male representation in dance, as it brings forth a unique blend of creativity, innovation, and enhanced expression on stage. This scholarship will allow us to celebrate the incredible contributions that male dancers bring to the art form.

Disabilities in Dance
For those with autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, or any other physical, developmental, and/or intellectual disabilities. Our primary objective is to ensure that everyBODY has the opportunity to partake in the joy of dance.

Depending on the eligible scholarships you apply for, this could take up to 25~ minutes to complete

TIMELINE:

July 1: Application Opens

July 15: Round 1 recipients announced (candidates notified via email)

August 1: Round 2 recipients announced (candidates notified via email)

August 15: Round 3 recipients announced (candidates notified via email)

September 5: CBA Academic Year begins

September – December, 2024: KLDF Application will remain open until all funds have been awarded.

December 7: KLDF Student & Family Welcome Celebration
2:00 PM, Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center
We will welcome all KLDF recipients to attend. The KLDF awardees will have the opportunity to meet each other, IDEA committee members, staff, and enjoy the 4:00 PM performance of The Nutcracker free of charge. There will also be a photo opportunity with Mr. Keith Lee, and this celebration will provide students with a platform to share their stories about the value of dance.

January 1: Application reopens if funding remains

January 15: Round 4 recipients announced (candidates notified via email)

Questions about applying?

Email [email protected] or call our CB staff at 434.218.3652.


If you would like to support these efforts, please explore the work of Charlottesville Ballet’s IDEA Committee by visiting the following link: IDEA Committee or make a tax-deductible gift to the Keith Lee Dance Fund:

Celebrating the 50-year Dance Legacy of Keith Lee

Keith Lee, Resident Choreographer and Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Charlottesville Ballet

Keith Lee hails from the Bronx, NY and began training at the High School of Performing Arts in NYC. In 1969, Mr. Lee was the first Black soloist to join the American Ballet Theatre and he went on to dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His repertory included the choreography of such luminaries as Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Agnes DeMille, Lar Lubovitch, Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor, as well as performance credits in theater and broadway musicals. He has served as ballet master for Ailey and Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Capitol Ballet, and has been teaching and choreographing for dance companies across the world. Mr. Lee has called Central Virginia home since 1994, and he was named Artist Laureate by the City of Lynchburg where he continues to work as a freelance choreographer, master teacher, and performing arts coordinator. He has shared his vision and 50-year dance legacy with the Charlottesville Ballet since 2008, and he serves as Resident Choreographer and Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the entire organization.